Scary Snippets Christmas Edition Released

I’ve had a bounce in my step for awhile now what with getting some of my very short fiction out there in the world.  One of those putting-bounce-in-my-step moments was placing a short story called “Turkey Day” with the good folks at Suicide House Publishing for their holiday offering Scary Snippets: Christmas Edition.*

I received two copies of the book the other day and am looking forward to reading it.  All of the stories are very short (hence “snippets”), between 100 and 600 words.  Naturally, being a Lady of Chaos Undivided I went for excess and made sure I used all 600 words.

Reindeer is tired of being used as a book rest and thinks duck needs to take a turn.**

Monsters and mayhem, by a goodly number of authors, include such things as cannibalism (tasty presented of course), Yule Cat, Revenge of the Christmas trees, and I am pleased to report that mine wasn’t the only story with zombies.

I must confess that my zombies were an oblique feature rather than the main attraction of Turkey Day.  One possible theme for my story might be that people are just a little too hard to impress these days and it’s a damned shame.  Whatever the case, I’m one of those people (currently anyway) who usually looks for a theme after I’ve finished my work rather than when I’m writing it.

Bird thinks the Thanksgiving Day ones are the scariest for obvious reasons!

In other news, I was the dungeon master for a Dungeons & Dragons game yesterday, which went pretty well.  I haven’t DMed in many years and I was a little nervous going in, but everyone said they had fun and are looking forward to once again visiting the Enchanted Forest, so I’m pretty pleased.

Finally, I have a sorry little tale (pun not intended) about my cat catching a mouse.  That will be for next time.  I hope everyone had a nice holiday.

Christmas Bird Clip Art

*  Suicide House Publishing has since changed its name to Nocturnal Sirens Publishing.

** My mother made the little clothespin angel, which I thought was cute, and put it in this year’s Christmas box.  Thanks, Mom! 🙂

Christmas 2019: Gaming, Writing, and Twist Yo’ Wrist!

Greetings and Felicitations, Dear Readers, I hope you are doing well.  If Christmas is your thing, then have a merry one, and if not then best wishes for whatever it is you celebrate this time of year, even if it is simply making it to the end of another year.  Some years are better than others and I hope that 2019 was a good one and 2020 is even better.

I had a nice time at a Solstice celebration where there was a big fire and I got to don a robe and everything, and an equally fun Christmas with my tiny tree that I bust out for a month before banishing it back to the dungeon, along with the tiny reindeer and bird, in their green and red plastic bin.

Reindeer wants to be a ranger or barbarian.  Naturally the bird wants to play a dragonborn.*

Received some pretty nice presents this year, which touch on my three favorite hobbies:  gaming, writing, and working out.

It has been quite a few years since I’ve played roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons, and I happened to mention to someone I’m getting the itch to DM once again.  The result was a Players Handbook from Jolly Old Saint Nick.  Now all I have to do is find some like-minded people in my area.

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel is apparently a guidebook for plotting novels.  I feel pretty confident with short stories and such, but I feel like 2020 is going to be the year where I educate myself more with structuring longer fiction.  So I’m going to read through this book and see about applying what I learn to going back and revisiting the Gabby novel I was poking away at on Wattpad.

The metal thingie is a wide-grip wrist roller.  For anyone not familiar, you attach a weight to it and roll the rope up and lower it back down.  It targets the forearms and especially the grip.  Nice and heavy duty too.  Can’t wait to take it to the gym.  With the Twist Yo’ Wrist device I’ve been using for some time now, I’ll never meet a jar of pickles I didn’t like.

I updated my About page.  I thought maybe it was time considering I haven’t touched it since about 2014.

Take care and have a great 2020.

— Ann

 

* I’m fairly certain that the tree wants to play a Druid, though I’ll have to build back up to where I’m high enough level to cast Speak with Plants to be certain!

Poetry and Painting Helper

This has proven a busy (in a good way) past few days.  I heard back from Dragon Soul Press yesterday.  I sent them some of my poetry for their upcoming anthology, Organic Ink, Volume 2, which is currently due to come out around the end of 2019.*  

I’m pleased to say that my work is going to appear in the anthology, and they sent me this graphic.  The book, I’m told, is going to be available in both electronic and physical formats, as the picture below suggests.

I’m particularly pleased the editors decided to use the longish poem that I wrote as a retelling of the Pandora’s Box myth, The War of the Jar. The idea came, in part, from reminding myself of Hesiod’s five ages of humanity from Works and Days.  My poem was set in his third age where (as Hesiod reports), Zeus created a “race, sprung from ash trees; and it was in no way equal to the silver age, but it was terrible and strong.”

So I am thinking that I might extend things and do some other poetry for Hesiod’s other four ages too.  Although I was never a particular fan of the Pandora myth, since I first heard it as a wee one in the late 1960’s, I am a fan of Hesiod’s Five Ages, which evokes for me vibrations of Conan and the Drums of Tombalku, mixed with a little H.P. Lovecraft, various romantics, and a dash of Blake and maybe Milton.

Probably a faster painter than I am, even without thumbs!

I haven’t sallied forth onto the painting front for quite awhile, but I decided to brave the Plateau of Unpainted Models (possibly near Leng?) and pick away at a poxwalker I got about half done and then left to its own devices a few months ago.

I stepped away for a few minutes and when I came back I found I had a painting helper, who had no intention of moving from her spot.  (Maybe the plateau is in fact nearer Ulther than Leng?)

In any case, between the two of us we made some good progress on our poxwalker and hope to finish #17 this weekend.  I went to see the new Rambo movie this weekend with my husband, and afterwards bought some Plaguebearer Flesh contrast paint to experiment with on old #17.**


*  As a reader, I’m planning on checking out DSP’s story anthology, Coffins & Dragons, which as I understand features stories that have both vampires and dragons in the same tale.  At a mighty 620 pages, it is quite a hefty tome and will keep me busy for awhile, I’m sure.

**  I think poxwalkers like it when you experiment on them; at least I think they try and get into the spirit of the thing.  Still, I think it is fast approaching the time we should bring the experiment to a happy conclusion.  After all, I have been working on the wretched mob since the Dark Imperium boxed set first arrived, over two years ago now!

 

Gabby Novel: Night

I finished the next section of my novel, Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster.  The title of this section is Night.

I decided to dispense with the idea of looking where I’d put the chapter divisions if the work were a traditional book.  Instead I’m looking at each section on Wattpad as its own chapter.  So this section is number four in the story.

I have another picture, though I haven’t worked it into the story yet but I plan on doing so fairly soon.  I experimented with including pictures in my Wattpad stories, but ended up taking them out because they apparently made it hard to load for phones, which caused a precipitous decrease in viewership.  I’m not on Wattpad necessarily to build a large viewership, because I don’t see myself having the time that it would take to do that, I don’t want to needlessly make it hard for people to view my work either.

Another offering by the talented Stefan Ljumov

I’ve been slacking off on moving forward with the story because I have had to give some attention to changes in my job situation.  The changes are good and will result in more free time, so I can work on the story more.  Wattpad has proven its worth so far.  In the past, this period of not working on the story would have probably caused me to consider abandoning the project in favor of the next shiny, new idea, but since I’ve put myself out there with it online, I find I still have the interest and energy to continue.

Finally, I started another WordPress blog.  This one is called Ann’s Physical Culture Journal and it is a place for me to keep track of my workouts and such.  I have enjoyed doing various workouts for years and have lots of old notebooks kicking around full of stuff that I have been doing from the 1980’s up until now.  This is the first time I have done a blog on the subject though.

I decided upon a separate blog instead of creating a section here, because I expect that I will be posting a lot and I don’t want to clutter this space up with lots of posts about lifting weights and such.  I want to keep the Immaterium primarily an arts space.

Finally, my husband has a lot of weight he needs/wants to lose and decided to start a Youtube channel where he does vegan recipes and every Friday posts a video detailing how his week went diet-wise, etc.  I’m proud of how he’s done so far — he’s lost 60 pounds.  So if you are interested in fairly easy-to-make vegan food and such check it out here.  Don mentioned, after I told him I was going to put out a link to his channel that a play list of the cooking videos is here.  I’ve (of course) eaten them all, some multiple times, and quite enjoyed them.  Having a husband who likes to cook is a beautiful thing.

 Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress

Gabby: Last Shot (End of Chapter One)

I finished the next installment of my novel, Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster.  This finishes chapter one and I achieved two of my goals: finish the first chapter and also finish with that wretched cave.  My first chapter was a bit over 5300 words, which means word count-wise I’m about 5% done.

The title of this section is Last Shot.  I decided that each of the subsections is going to be no more than two words.  I’m really only doing these chapter subsections because I’m doing this in an online format and need to break it up more than I would for a physical book.

Gabby by Stefan Ljumov

Steady but slow progress.  I’m looking forward to my schedule changing in October.  One happy consequence of that is I’ll have more time for writing on a set schedule instead of carving out some time here and there when I can, which doesn’t work very well for me in terms of completing long-term projects.

I have a pretty good idea where I want to go for Chapter Two, which will get me through the next few weeks of writing and give me some time to think about structure and plot beyond what I already have.  I have an idea for a sub-plot that I introduced the fleeting germ of at the end of the first chapter, and think I know where I more or less want to go by the end of the book though at this point that could still change.

Of course I can go back and fix structural problems and the like in a second draft at some point, but I would like to get as much right as I can on the first go.

The next section will go live on September 15, 2019.

Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress

Gabby: Picture of Main Character

I thought it would be fun to have some drawings made for my novel that I’m working on, Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster.  The other day this depiction of my main character arrived in my inbox, complete with the eyes on the arms, just as I hoped!

Gabby the Bug Eyed Monster as drawn by the talented Stefan Ljumov

I have the rough draft of the next section already done and plan on tinkering with it a bit before going live on Wattpad this Sunday, September 8th.  That will wrap up the first chapter.  The working title for the section is (without apology to Henry James!) Turn of the Screw Last Shot.

I’ve also been thinking about where I want to go with the story through the first quarter of the book.  That will be about 20,000 words or so, and since I’m already up to 4,000 that will happen fairly soon, even though it still seems like a lot to me.  Especially if things work out with my schedule as I anticipate and I have more time for writing starting in October.

A friend suggested playing some sort of cooperative space platform defense board game.  Hope to attend that soon.  It’ll be nice seeing some friends, who I haven’t gotten together with for awhile now, and (of course) gaming.

 

Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress

Gabby the Bug-Eyed Monster: Eternity

I’ve managed to keep my schedule of posting new material every Sunday for my novel-in-progress thus far.  The latest bit went live yesterday and is titled, Prologue: Eternity.

The novel so far is located here.

“‘The Stars, Like Dust!’  Wait, I think that one’s taken.”

As the title suggests, I went back and did a little preface.  I figure that since I’m sharing a story pretty much as I write it, then if I’m going to write such a thing in such a way I should get any introductory bits out of the way early in the game.

I’ve noticed that I’m developing a tendency to work backwards a bit, editing and correcting things as I go along.  While it has been working so far it is early days yet and I think this could be a dangerous thing, when the story is longer, and could stall my first draft progress.  So in the future I’m going to make notes somewhere about things I need to correct once I’m done. I’ve fallen into that trap before with other projects and avoiding said trap is one object of this pantsing experiment.

I plan on writing a final section to wrap up Chapter One for next time.  While I’m doing that I hope to finalize in my own mind where I want to go with this for the first quarter of the story.

Gabby cover 125 wide for WordPress